Why the dream has been deferred

King-Jr-Martin-LutherYou can’t say the N word anymore. You get sued if you racially discriminate in your hiring process. White kids grow up listening to rap music and (if they’re not too “Christian”) going to public school with the black kids. We have a black president. How dare you say that racism still exists in America? Right? White people are very defensive and paranoid about racism, which has come to mean little more than saying “politically incorrect” things when you’re drunk or otherwise off-guard and getting Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to bring their beloved TV cameras to your front door. This trivialization of racism as having to do with little more than “speaking correctly” is one of the reasons that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream has been deferred. But the main underlying problem is that the backlash against the civil rights movement that began in the early seventies has created a radically individualist moral vision in which Christ’s command to love your neighbor as yourself is basically meaningless.

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Ugliness Into Beauty #3: The Witness of Nonviolence #podcast

The third blessing of the cross is its witness of nonviolence which has provided the basis for an entirely different way of living and pursuing political causes. Nonviolence is not acquiescence, politeness, or passive aggression. It confronts violence; it tests the authenticity of love; it depends upon the truth; and it seeks communion. Here are my sermon slides and audio. If you would like to receive the audio in a form that you can listen to when you go to the gym or commute to work, subscribe to my podcast.

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Reconciliation: Dr. King’s main agenda

There have been many political movements throughout history that were successful without being morally virtuous. What works and what’s right are often in opposition to one another. We are now living in a time when political success is directly related to how sleazy and manipulating a politician is willing to be (and how much money his/her supporters have). But Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday offers an opportunity to dream about a time when taking the higher moral ground resulted in political success. Even though Dr. King’s movement came to be known as the Civil Rights Movement, his agenda wasn’t primarily about rights; it was about reconciliation between enemies. I thought I would look at a couple of his quotes and ponder briefly what our political world would be like if we followed his example. Continue reading